Well, this is awkward.
Bloomberg published a lengthy piece on Jay Z’s Tidal service called “Why Jay Z’s Tidal Is a Complete Disaster.”
Before you write the article off as just another mainstream publication rooting for Jay Z to fail, this piece backs itself up with an in-depth analysis of not only Jay’s career, but also the state of the music industry as it pertains to streaming services in general.
Interestingly enough, the article reveals that major record companies are asking Jay for large advances in order for Tidal to feature their artists’ catalogues — one of those companies being Sony.
Without payment, it’s possible that Tidal might lose albums from some of these record companies’ artists — and some of them, like Beyoncé, are Tidal co-owners.
Check out the excerpt below:
Jay Z was apparently counting on the investment to pay some bills. When he acquired Aspiro, the change of ownership meant he had to renegotiate its streaming contracts with the three major record companies: Universal, Warner, and Sony Music Entertainment. Universal distributes the records of some of Roc Nation’s artists, so Jay Z was able to quickly reach an agreement with that company. But music industry people who are familiar with the negotiations and forbidden from discussing them publicly say that Sony and Warner are asking Tidal for large advances in return for the right to feature their artists’ catalogs. (None of the record companies would comment on Tidal.) A source close to Tidal said that the company’s financial condition is fine and that it reached a streaming rights deal in late May with Warner.
Nonetheless, if Jay Z can’t come up with the cash for Sony, he faces the possibility that Tidal might lose albums from some of its co-owners, most painfully Beyoncé, a Sony artist. “I’m pretty sure most of the artists that were at the press conference don’t control their own streaming rights,” says Peter Mensch, co-founder of Q Prime, the talent agency that manages the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica.
Can you imagine a Tidal without Beyoncé? Let’s hope Jay’s able to get these deals in place.